What We Believe - Beaumont UMC

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What We Believe

What We Believe:

As United Methodists, we have an obligation  to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality  at the center of the Church’s life and witness. To fulfill this  obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological  inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our  own time.

United Methodists share a common heritage with  all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in  The Book of Discipline, we share the following basic affirmations in  common with all Christian communities:
  
                
Who God is:
When we say the Apostles' Creed, we join with  millions of Christians through the ages in an understanding of God as a  Trinity—three persons in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From early  in our Judaic roots we've affirmed that God is one and indivisible, yet  God is revealed in three distinct ways. "God in three persons, blessed  Trinity" is one way of speaking about the several ways we experience  God.

We also try to find adjectives that describe  the divine nature: God is transcendent (over and beyond all that is),  yet at the same time immanent (present in everything). God is  omnipresent (everywhere at once), omnipotent (all-powerful), and  omniscient (all-knowing). God is absolute, infinite, righteous, just,  loving, merciful…and more. Because we cannot speak literally about God,  we use metaphors: God is a Shepherd, a Bridegroom, a Judge. God is Love  or Light or Truth.

What God does:
We cannot describe God with certainty. But  we can put into words what God does and how we experience God's action  in our lives. God works in at least these seven ways:
  • God creates. In the beginning God  created the universe, and the Creation is ongoing. From the whirling  galaxies, to subatomic particles, to the unfathomable wonders of our own  minds and bodies—we marvel at God's creative wisdom.
  • God sustains. God continues to  be active in creation, holding all in "the everlasting arms." In  particular, we affirm that God is involved in our human history—past,  present, and future.
  • God loves. God loves all  creation. In particular, God loves humankind, created in the divine  image. This love is like that of a parent. We've followed Jesus in  speaking of God as "our Father," while at times it seems that God  nurtures us in a motherly way as well.
  • God suffers. Since God is  present in creation, God is hurt when any aspect of creation is hurt.  God especially suffers when people are injured. In all violence, abuse,  injustice, prejudice, hunger, poverty, or illness, the living God is  suffering in our midst.
  • God judges. All human  behavior is measured by God's righteous standards—not only the behavior  itself but also the motive or the intent. The Lord of life knows our  sin—and judges it.
  • God redeems. Out of  infinite love for each of us, God forgives our own self-destruction and  renews us within. God is reconciling the individuals, groups, races, and  nations that have been rent apart. God is redeeming all creation.
  • God reigns. God is  the Lord of all creation and of all history. Though it may oftentimes  seem that the "principalities and powers" of evil have the stronger  hand, we affirm God's present and future reign.

When all is done, if we have  difficulty in imagining who God is or in relating to God, there's a  simple solution:   Remember Jesus,  for in the New Testament picture of  Jesus, we see God.
                                                       
               

 
1/30/2016
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